Supporting development of a pan-African HIV vaccine agenda and facilitating strategic planning to ensure development of vaccine strategies for all populations in need
With only 5 percent of the world’s population, Eastern and Southern Africa is home to half the world’s population living with HIV. Today the African continent continues to be the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with 48% of the world’s new HIV infections among adults and 55% among children.
Multiple HIV-1 subtypes are prevalent on the African continent: subtypes A and D are stable in East Africa; C in southern Africa; A, G, CRF02_AG and CRF06-cpx in western Africa; and subtype B and CRF02-A in northern Africa. This diversity in HIV-1 subtypes as well as infection with multiple viral variants and recombinant viruses has presented a challenge for vaccine development.
Various groups are advancing different vaccine strategies, including subtype neutral designs for global use, hoped to be successful against most or all subtypes of HIV. This diversity of strategies provides an opportunity to review and discuss the vaccine pipeline, burden of disease in the different African regions, existing African cohorts with high enough incidence for future efficacy trials, and ways forward to determine how broad or narrow protection, if observed, will be. The meeting will discuss the optimal design of initial efficacy trials and potentially bridging studies to ensure the broadest possible benefit of candidates in regions that didn’t participate in a successful efficacy trial, since widespread use will need to be expedited when deployable results are obtained.
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